Turkey cheered by words of Michael Flynn, Trump’s security adviser

The New York Times reports: Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser for the incoming Trump administration, once wrote on Twitter that it was “rational” to fear Muslims, but that does not seem likely to cause him any grief with Turkey’s government, even though it is led by a religiously conservative Muslim, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ankara has paid far more attention to General Flynn’s full-throated support for Mr. Erdogan’s government, and especially its wish to extradite the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen from his sanctuary in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

General Flynn wrote an article published in The Hill on Election Day calling on the United States to be more sympathetic to the concerns of Turkey, a NATO ally, and embracing Mr. Erdogan’s position that Mr. Gulen is an extremist who was behind the failed July coup against his government.

Mr. Gulen and his supporters deny that, and depict him as a moderate more concerned with building thousands of schools than with toppling Turkey’s government. Mr. Gulen was once an ally of Mr. Erdogan, but they had a falling out.

General Flynn’s article, as Politico reported, did not disclose that he was a paid lobbyist for a consultancy founded by a Turkish businessman, Ekim Alptekin, who is also the head of the Turkish-American Business Council. [Continue reading…]

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